Video shows car speed past barricade into Missouri floodwaters; highway patrol rescues

“Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”

That’s the mantra that authorities have been stressing whenever drivers encounter flood-covered roads.

A driver apparently had different intentions about 4 p.m. May 26 on U.S. 40.

A Missouri Highway Patrol trooper’s dashcam captured the moment the driver sped past him and the barricades closing the road. In the video, a large spray of water can be seen shooting into the air before the car starts to float.

The trooper pulls in front of the barricades and summons help.

He then waded out to the car and helped the driver to safety, the Missouri Highway Patrol’s Troop F tweeted Monday.

More deaths occur each year because of flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard, according to the National Weather Service’s flood safety website.

More than half of all flood-related drownings happen when a vehicle is driven into floodwaters. The next-highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to people walking into or near floodwaters.

“People underestimate the force and power of water,” the weather service said. “Many of the deaths occur in cars swept downstream. Many of these drownings are preventable. Never drive around the barriers blocking a flooded road. The road may have collapsed under that water.”

It doesn’t take much fast-moving water to knock over an adult — just six inches. Also, a foot of rushing water can carry away most cars. Two feet of water can carry away SUVs and trucks, the weather service said.

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Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.